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200 Women is a book and exhibition inspired by a belief that you can’t empower women without listening to their stories. Our subsequent idea was to persuade two hundred women in different parts of the world - whether they be rich or poor, black or white, educated or uneducated, famous or unknown - to sit or stand in front of a plain sheet of fabric and to be photographed and filmed while answering five fundamental questions.
Our goal was not to make a book about just successful and powerful women; those stories are important, but we wanted diversity, and above all, authenticity. Two hundred 'real women', with 'real stories'.
Gillian Slovo was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and now lives in London. She is a novelist and playwright, and her verbatim plays include the 2017 drama Another World– a look at why Western youth would join Islamic State. Her fourteen published books include Ice Road, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction; Red Dust, which is set around a hearing of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission and was made into a film starring Hilary Swank and Chiwetel Ejiofor; and her family memoir, Every Secret Thing, which tells the story of life with her parents, South African activists Joe Slovo and Ruth First.